Fresno State has lost out on a highly regarded Utah transfer who decided to look for another school after first committiing to the Bulldogs.
Vante Hendrix, a 6-foot-5 guard, committed to the Bulldogs on Jan. 21, four days into the spring semester, though the NCAA allows a student-athlete to satisfy an academic term or year of residence if admitted within the first 12 days of a semester or quarter.
“We had a change of heart and decided to move on to some other options,” said Laurian Watkins, Hendrix’s legal guardian and AAU coach at the Pro Skills Sports Academy in Southern California. “We just thought there may be a better fit elsewhere.”
Coach Justin Hutson, who has the Bulldogs 15-5 and 6-2 in the Mountain West Conference going into a game on Saturday against New Mexico at the Save Mart Center, could not comment since Hendrix did not enroll at Fresno State..
But Hendrix would have been a significant add for the Bulldogs, who after this season are losing their top two scorers in senior guards Deshon Taylor and Braxton Huggins as well as forward Sam Bittner. Hendrix was rated by one scouting service as a four-star recruit and the 67th best prospect in the Class of 2017 coming out of Birmingham High in Van Nuys, averaging 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.7 steals in his senior season.
Hendrix, who played in four games and produced 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in just 17.8 minutes per game before leaving the Utes’ program in November, could wind up in the Mountain West playing against the Bulldogs.
After leaving Utah, he also visited New Mexico the weekend the Lobos knocked off No. 6 Nevada at Dreamstyle Arena.